HMRC are not able to provide the information in the manner requested. HMRC do not record the nationality of the claimant receiving child benefit for children living in another member state.
Published child benefit statistics provide annual estimates of the number of families and children claiming. The latest available (August 2012) show that there were 7.92 million families, responsible for 13.77 million children and qualifying young people receiving child benefit.
The main purpose of child benefit is to support families in the UK. Consequently, the rules generally do not provide for them to be paid in respect of children who live abroad.
Nevertheless, child benefit is a family benefit under EC Regulation 883/2004. This regulation protects the social security rights of nationals of all member states of the European economic area, including the UK, and Switzerland when they exercise their rights of free movement under EU law.
HMRC holds information on the number of child benefit awards under EC Regulation 883/2004. As at
This is a fall of 3,682 (15.3%) awards in respect of 5,903 (14.7%) fewer children since
The breakdown by member state is as follows:
|Country of residence of children||Number of awards||Number of children|
|Republic of Ireland||1,231||2,505|
|1 We have withheld the number where it is fewer than 5, as there is risk that the information could be attributed to an identifiable person, which would prejudice their right to privacy and would therefore be a breach of Principle 1 of the Data Protection Act.|
As announced in the 2014 Budget, to prevent EEA migrants claiming benefits they are not entitled to, the Government will increase compliance checks to establish whether EEA migrants meet the entitlement conditions to receive child benefit.
Under domestic law, in order to claim child benefit EEA migrants must be present in the UK, ordinarily resident and have a right to reside in the UK and their children must live in the UK.
The recent changes to migrants’ access to benefits announced by the Government sends a strong message that the UK benefit system is not open to abuse, as well as deterring those who may seek residence in the UK primarily to claim benefits.
Strengthening compliance checks will help prevent EEA migrants from claiming, and continuing to claim, benefits they are not entitled to. Checks will be applied to both new claims and existing awards.